album reviews

Colbie Caillat
Coco (Deluxe Edition)
Universal Republic (2008)

Colbie Caillat's ubiquitous singles are refreshing in their sweet innocence; even when describing an unrequited crush ("Realize") or a rocky patch in a relationship ("The Little Things"), her breezy delivery makes her seem not terribly concerned about the situation's ultimate outcome. Her debut album, "Coco" (2007), is full of such bubbly tunes: Even the darkest song in the bunch, "Midnight Bottle," has such an upbeat tempo that she sounds certain to bounce right back from her slump.

There is arguably little merit in releasing a deluxe version of a debut album within 18 months of its original release, and the eight new tracks aren't mandatory listening for those who already own the original. Caillat continues with her swaying sweet pop on "Circles" and "Somethin' Special" (the latter was used in the 2008 Summer Olympics broadcast) and includes a few covers (Dusty Springfield's "Brand New Me" and a live version of Bob Marley's "Turn Your Lights Down Low.") The two most interesting new tracks are alternate versions of previously released songs: an acoustic version of her single "Bubbly," which sounds even more innocent and candid without the studio production and instrumentation, and a piano version of "Magic," whose airy accompaniment far surpasses the song's original recording.

-- Catherine P. Lewis

.: Originally published: The Washington Post: 12 December 2008, Page WE08
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